The Private Sector Presents the New Government a Recommendation Policy Paper to Improve Business and Investment Climate in Afghanistan

Afghanistan National Business Forum

Kabul, 27 February, 2014 – acci-eventAfghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Industries (ACCI) and Harakat – Afghanistan Investment Climate Facility Organization jointly organized the Afghanistan National Business Forum. The private sector representatives from across the country including business leaders, economists and prominent business and investment specialists, small, medium and large enterprises gathered in this Forum with an aim to discuss and analyze the barriers that impede the private sector in Afghanistan and recommended possible practical solutions.

Naseem Akbar, CEO of Harakat in his opening speech emphasized on a conducive business environment as main factor in attracting investment in the country. He added: "security and political stability, anti-corruption efforts, appropriate tax regime, investment incentives, access to infrastructures, access to finance, access to electricity, access to land, legal support and protection of investment, are the main requirements to facilitate an encouraging business environment.

Mr. Akbar also asked for the political will within the new government as the key basis to reform business and investment climate. He pointed out lack of political will and practical steps against corruption as well as lack of investment incentive policies for economic development, has impeded the environment.

Mohammad Qurban Haqjo, CEO of ACCI said the findings on the challenges and practical solutions for private sector development will formulate an Economic Policy Paper that will be shared with the presidential candidates. He stated, "The presidential candidates will have to incorporate the proposed policy paper in their economic agenda."

Then, the participants were divided into 8 parallel working groups, concentrated on different sectors such as; Agriculture, Mining & Natural Reserves, Infrastructures, Heavy and Light Industries, Trade and Transit, Services (Telecommunication, Health, Tourism and etc), Human Resource Development and Anti-Corruption.

The working groups focused on how to create more jobs and increase income that contributes to peace and stability and highlighted the major obstacles in each sector and came up with the practical solution which will be published as a private sector led formulated policy recommendation paper. The recommendation policy paper will be presented to the Afghanistan 2014 presidential candidates prior to a follow up debate regarding their strategic economic agendum on 10 March, 2014. In the mean time, this paper will be shared with the government, civil society and the international private sector development donors in the country for their specific adherence.

Further, ACCI and HARAKAT intend to organize such forums annually to evaluate implementation progress on the policy recommendation paper as well as seek the possible solutions in a timely manner.